The teenager will now be able to access gender-affirming hormone treatment following the Family Court ruling in Australia.
Justice Watts granted authorisation for the teen to access oestrogen treatment to aid in her physical feminisation.
The teen’s father consented to the treatment, but the mother did not, stating that the child lacked the competency to consent to the diagnosis and treatment.
The court heard that since the child was 6 or 7 the child had “expressed a consistent, persistent and insistent view that she wishes to move to … gender affirming hormone treatment”.
Prior to receiving hormonal treatment, a child normally receives puberty blockers to prepare them for the transition.
Hormone treatment is the second step in a three-stage medical transition process for transgender adolescents.
The third step involves surgery.
Hayder Shkara, divorce lawyer from Justice Family Lawyers, said that this ruling had made things clearer for adolescents with gender dysphoria.
“Since 2017, it was not entirely clear as to what role the courts will have if there were to be a dispute in relation to gender dysphoria. The courts will only get involved in decisions up to stage 2 of a transition if a parent or doctor disputed the diagnosis of gender dysphoria or treatment. The court will then get involved and make a ruling as to whether or not they should authorise the treatment.”
The Family Court in 2013 ruled that court approval was no longer required for stage one treatment, but the court had a role in disputes.
In 2017, the Full Court went further and ruled court authorisation was not required for stage two treatment, but it was not clear what role the court performed in the case of disputes.
Justice Watts said court approval for stage two treatment is mandatory only if a parent or doctor disputes the child’s legal competency to consent; the diagnosis of gender dysphoria; or the proposed treatment.
Justice Family Lawyers.
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